Paul reminds these people of the disturbing events of his imprisonment and beating at Philippi (another city of Macedonia), and of the validity of his apostleship. Grumblings and murmurings appear to be an ever-present evil amongst God’s people, but one to be resisted and overcome. How?
“But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.”
“For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”
Paul uses two wonderful images here. One of the gentleness of a nursing mother with her children. The other of a father exhorting and encouraging his children.
These are both used to describe what he and others did in bringing them (the Thessalonian church) the good news.
It’s important to remember that both of these sets of characteristics are found in preaching the gospel. Gentleness alongside encouragement and exhortation.
* Gracious Father,
Thank You for Your word. Thank You that it shows us how we are to act, and particularly here the example set of how to build up and encourage a church.
Please help us to be gentle among one another, exhorting and encouraging one another.